Jaganath Temple, Puri.
Lord Jaganath temple is situated at Puri, Orissa. Orissa is a state near Bay of Bengal, the eastren sea coast of India. There are 3 prominent temples in this state. The Lord Jaganath Temple at Puri, Sun Temple at Konark and Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneswar. These are called the Golden Triangle of Orissa. The Jaganath Temple at Puri is one of the prominent Hindu temples of India. It is one of the temple of char dam Yatra. It is also called as Sri Mandira. The Lord Jaganath means God of Universe.
The temple premises is vast with four gates on four sides namely
East Gate: Lions Gate.
Western Gate: Tiger Gate.
North Gate: Elephant Gate.
South Gate: Horse Gate.
The presiding deities in the temple are Lord Balabhadra, Godess Subhadra and Lord Jaganatha. The three deities are known as Trimurti. The trio are seated on a pedestal called Ratnadevi in the sanctum . The idols are made of neemwood. Along with these three Sudharshan is also worshipped as chaturdha murthy.
According to Bhagavata Purana, there is a story behind the Jaganath idol in this temple. At the end of Dwapara Yuga Dwaraka Nagaram had immersed into the sea while Lord Krishna stood at the banks of the sea before he reached Vaikuntam and he remained at that place as Lord Jaganth.
This is the only temple where the deities are made out of neem wood as all other Hindu temple deities are made out of metal. As it is made out of log wood it gets decayed over a period of time and it need to be replaced. So once in 12 years the deities are again made with new neem logs specially selected by a group of persons with strict specifications. The neem logs are carried through the eastren gate called Lions get inside the temple premises. After the images are made a mysterious object called brahma is placed inside the new idols and the old idols are buried in koil vaikunta. This is called as Nava Kalebara Festival or Body Change over Ceremony. This is the only temple where the main deities are sculpted and replaced again and again.
Along with this another important festival is chariot festival, celebrated in Ashada month, that is the fourth of the Telugu calendar year. ( see other article Jaganath Rath Yatra from my blog)
Narendra Tank: Narendra Tank is one of the Holy Tanks. the tank is at a distance of about 1 km from Jaganatha Temple towards the North. The Chandan Yatra Festival beginning from Akshaya Trutiya of the month of Baishaka (April-May) continues at this Tank for 21 days. lord Jaganatha and Panchayat Pandavas have their pleasure cruise around the tank in well decorated boats.
A prominent Vishnu temple to be visited in Eastren India.
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